If A Slug Crosses The Road...

Dateline: 12 August 2016

(click the picture for an enlarged view)

As I was walking along my way this morning I spied a lone slug crossing the road in front of me. I walked on by before turning back and taking the picture you see above. After all, it's not every day one sees a slug crossing the road.

I don't know why this slug (among so many slugs that surely inhabit the land beside the road) decided it alone must leave it's natural element and cross the broad expanse of rough macadam. It is a mystery, among so many mysteries, to be found in the natural world (a.k.a., God's garden).

Outward appearance notwithstanding, this was clearly not your typical slug. Perhaps it was a high achiever, looking for new opportunities. Or, maybe it was an adventuring slug, choosing to cross the road simply because it was there, and because few other slugs dared to cross. It could be that this was a rebel slug, breaking with its slug-world cultural expectations—a rebel without a clue. Then again, it may be that the slug was on its own half-baked Keourackian quest, looking for life's answers On The Road. And there is always the possibility that this slug's cognitive abilities were affected by an environmental toxin. Which is to say, it had lost it's mind. We will never know for sure.

The question that a deep-thinking philosopher might ask upon seeing this slug on it's journey, would be a variation of the tree-in-the-woods question.

You know... "If a tree falls in the woods, and there is no one there to hear it, does it really make a sound?"

Applied to this slug crossing a lonely country road in Upland, the question would be:

"If a slug crosses the Way, and a pilgrim traveller does not happen along to see it (and take it's picture), does the slug actually exist?"

Well, it's a silly question, isn't it? 

Of course the slug still exists, and of course a tree makes a sound if it crashes in the woods with no one there to hear it.

One has to be a worldly-wise philosopher to be confused by such questions. Normal people know better.

Personally, I'm confident of these things because Jesus Christ answered both questions in Matthew 10:29, where he told his disciples the following:

"Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."
(New Living Translation)


"Not a single slug can cross the road without God knowing about it."

And again...

"Not a single tree can fall in the woods without God hearing it."

The concept of God's sovereign omnipresence and omniscience  is boggling to the human mind. We have a tendency to limit God's abilities because of our own personal inabilities. In other words, if we can't conceive of something being possible, then it must be impossible.

But in Matthew 19, Jesus tells his disciples that "...with God, all things are possible." 

In that instance, Jesus was talking about salvation. He had made it clear that no human can possibly, by their good works or wealth, be worthy enough to enter into the Kingdom of God. When they grasped this reality, the disciples wondered how anyone could possibly be saved from the penalty of their sins and enter the Kingdom.

The answer to their question was speaking to them, but they would not come to understand that until later, when God's plan of redemption had been fulfilled.

That little word, "all," as in "With God all things are possible," is actually a very big word. 

"All" is beyond our human comprehension in so many ways—sort of like Einstein's Theory of Relativity is beyond the comprehension of a slug.

So, in review, with thanks to that little slug, we've managed to confidently answer a "deep" philosophical conundrum here. It's a good day when you can get something like that accomplished.

And now, with all this talk of slugs and tree-sound in mind, I have a much deeper question....

If a slug crosses the road, does it make a sound?

Personally, I'm inclined to think it does, even though I can't hear it. 

And I have no doubt that if a slug does make  a noise, God can hear it. 


  1. Glad you have made this move, The Gleaners is one of our Favorite pictures...we have a copy hanging in our home.

    1. Nice. My parents had the picture in their home too.

  2. I wonder what our philosophical meanderings might have been like should you have found said slug munching on your garden plants. It reminds me that context is really important. Yet, with God, I know His truths are eternal and His ability to execute His will -- especially regarding my salvation -- are not changed by time or place and for that I am so thankful that He can do All things.

    1. Well, if said slug were found eating my food in my garden, I'm sure he would no longer exist.

      Thanks for the comment, Dan.

  3. Matthew 10:29 goes deeper than God the Father just knowing the sparrow fell. The KJV actually says "and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father". That and the fact that the slug took a trip across a rough road were ordained of God for His own good reason and purpose. A comforting thought in a world of such discomfort.

    1. Hi Jean—
      I also believe in the absolute Sovereignty of God over His created order. There are Christians who do not believe that God's sovereignty can override our human will. They might be correct. But if I am to err, I will err on the side of God's total sovereign power and authority in all things. To not do so would be to rob Him of the full glory that He is due. That's the way I see it. Thanks for the thought-provoking comment.

  4. Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
    You know that scripture that says..."the rocks and stones will cry out!"? I've learned recently about what science calls 'quarks'. It has to do with atoms, their parts of neutrons, electrons, etc. and their planetary orbits. Somehow quarks are sound waves. Since all things are made of atoms, they all have quarks--all atoms have or are made up of sound waves. Well, I hope I understood. Anyway, even slugs have sound waves, and rocks and stones too!

  5. Everett R LittlefieldAugust 17, 2016 at 6:01 PM

    To be Irreverent as is my wont, the only noise that slug is going to make is when that ten ton semi spreads him over the macadam!

  6. Hmmmm. I guess that leads to another question... If a ten-ton semi runs over a slug, and the semi makes a lot of noise, such that you can't hear the noise of the slug being squished, does the squishing of the slug actually make a noise?

  7. Ah, you got me!! That is too esoteric a presumption for me to decipher!